I can honestly say that it was the sparkliest, prettiest thing I think I've ever seen. I've become rather strangely let attached to that silver hair.
Let me explain.
I'm not all that afraid of getting older. My time as a youth was fraught with all kinds of terrible, and I'm honestly not sad to see it go. Looking back, I remember a sexual assault, whole lot of tears, scary episodes of depression and suicidal ideation, of bearing the brunt of abuse and gaslighting that fed those states, debt and fear and loneliness, a whole lot of other awfulness. Obviously that wasn't all. There were good times, but by and large, my younger years were desperately unhappy.
It's not until I hit my thirties that things improved. I started therapy (and continue to do so when budget allows), and started to recognise the abuse. I was given permission to get angry about it, and finally given the tools to establish boundaries, and enforce them. That's not always easy. Some people took umbridge with it and went on the attack. For my own survival, I had to walk away, and remove those people from my life. That was heartbreaking in the moment, but I am far better for it now, provided I don't think too much on it.
I finally left my student debt behind, closed and paid off my credit cards, and I'm close to ending other debts. I've returned to the things that make my heart happy - writing, which I hope to make a career of, painting, and gaming.
Like how my younger days weren't all terrible, this new phase of life isn't all great. I still suffer from depression. It's a lifelong thing, and while I've learnt to accept and manage it, there are still really bad days. I'm not in a great financial position - my job doesn't pay all that much (but there are other pay-offs), and so I don't have a lot of spare cash to do things I would love to do, like travel. I want my own house, but honestly, only a lotto win will afford me one at this point. While I'm not all that keen on the idea of marriage, and I'm undecided about whether or not I want kids, the absence of both in my life is notable, even if only because of societal pressure. I've been writing for a long while now, and don't seem to be getting anywhere. I often find myself frustrated and lost and really only chugging along because of spite.
Spite, incidentally, is a weirdly great motivator.
Still, I'm in a much better place now than I was even five years ago.
The thing about that silver strand in my hair is not that it represents the sad passing of my youth, but that I survived. In spite of it all, I made it. I'm old enough to get grey hair. That, I think, is something to celebrate.
So, I shall keep that white strand, and all that come after. I won't die my hair. I will rock that silver top joyously, in rebellion of a culture that worships youth and shuns age, and in celebration of having made it this far. Many do not.
Right, I have to go write.